Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Phirumya upset Cambodian officials with remarks he made at a US university last week.
Addressing students and others at Johns Hopkins University in a lecture on Thai politics, Kasit said Thailand had three issues pending with Cambodia: questions on the inclusion of Preah Vihear temple to a Unesco World Heritage list; a 2001 sea border agreement; and an exchange of prisoners.
Kasit said Cambodia’s management plan of Preah Vihear temple would have to include a map that Thailand considers unlawful.
The temple is at the heart of a border dispute between the two neighbors.
“We see this as putting the horse before the cart, no the cart before the horse, and that created some displeasure on the part of Cambodia,” he said.
Meanwhile, a border drawn in the sea was done more through “political expediency” than international law and is now deemed unlawful by the current government, he said.
Kasit said Thailand was still holding four Cambodian prisoners as it awaits step-by-step amnesty approval from the government.
Cambodia’s border committee head, Var Kimhong, said Thailand should leave the sea border alone, as it has been agreed on. He also said Kasit should push Thai parliament to adopt the minutes of a border committee meeting between both sides that clarifies the border.